Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

June 5th, 2010 in Desserts by
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Total cooking time: 2h 30min  
Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Yuriy had his birthday 2 weeks ago, so I decided to cook him a cake. Somehow we ended up eating whole cake just by ourselves; so we will need to work out more now :)

I’ve used this simple recipe of homemade cake which is very popular in Russia and other countries of ex-USSR. Because of the sour cream frosting it is often called “smetannik”, which basically mean “made of sour cream” in russian.

If you decide to make this cake – make sure you have enough time to let sour cream to soak to into each layer of the cake after it is assembled; 6-8 hours are usually enough. If you prepare cake a night before you are going to serve it and then put to fridge – it is even better.

Ingredients:


  • Cake:

    3.5oz of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 14 oz of sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • White vinegar, about 1 tablespoon

  • Frosting:

    20-25oz of original sour cream
  • 1/3 cup of sugar

How to prepare, step-by-step:

  1. Prepare ingredients: if you leave butter on the room temperature until it so soft so can be mixed in, then you can skip next step. One more word about sweetened condensed milk – I’ve used the same brand which exist in Russia (got it from local russian shop), I never tried local US condensed milk, so I can’t say if it will work the same:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 1

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 1

  2. To melt butter: take 2 cooking pots: one slightly smaller than another, fill bigger pot with water and bring it to boil. Put butter to smaller pot and place it inside of the bigger one, so it is about 1” deep into the water, let butter to melt completely. Then take the cooking pot out of the water and set it aside – butter should cool down to room temperature before it can be added to the batter (by the way, you don’t need the other pot as well, so don’t forget to turn the heat under it off):
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 2

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 2

  3. Add eggs to the mixer bowl and beat together on slow speed with wire attachement, just until mixed, then slowly add melted butter cooled till room temperature:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 3

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 3

  4. Continue mixing until well incorporated:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 4

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 4

  5. Mix in sweetened condensed milk:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 5

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 5

  6. Turn mixer off. Put a teaspoon of baking sode into bigger tablespoon and sprinkle with white vinegar, then fast pour bubbled soda to the batter:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 6

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 6

  7. If there is still soda powder left in the spoon repeat sprinkling it with vinegar until it is all done:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 7

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 7

  8. Start mixer on slow speed and slowly mix in all flour, spoon by spoon. Continue mixing until batter is homogenous:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 8

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 8

  9. Preheat oven till 350F. Pour about half of batter to the springform greased with butter:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 9

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 9

  10. Put springform to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (start checking it with a wooden toothpick at about 15th minute: pierce it till the bottom, if toothpick comes out clean then light cake layer is ready):
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 10

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 10

  11. Take springform from the oven (but don’t turn heat off, you will need it again), let it cool a bit, then carefully get light cake layer put and put a side to cool down:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 11

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 11

  12. While springform is cooling down, mix about 1 table spoon of cocoa powder to the rest of batter in mixer bowl until well incorporated:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 12

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 12

  13. Clean springform with paper towel and grease it again with butter; pour there all of the batter and put springform to the oven:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 13

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 13

  14. Bake dark cake layer for 15-20 mins on 350F until ready (again try with wooden toothpick). Then remove springform from the oven and remove cake from the springform; set it aside and let it cool down till room temperature. Now you can turn heat in oven off:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 14

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 14

  15. When both light and dark cakes are cooled down, cut about 1/3 of the inch from each cake’s edge in circle with a small knife and remove formed crusts:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 15

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 15

  16. Crumble each crust into the bowl, you will use those crumbles for decoration:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 16

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 16

  17. Then cut both cakes in equal halves using a long knife:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 17

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 17

  18. Now it is time to prepare frosting. For this pour sour cream into deep bowl and add sugar:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 18

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 18

  19. Mix them together until sugar dissolves completely:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 19

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 19

  20. Arrange bottom part of dark cake in the middle of the cake stand or big flat plate:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 20

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 20

  21. Spread sour cream on the cake layer using frosting spatula:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 21

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 21

  22. Pierce bottom part of light cake layer with a fork in several places from both sides:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 22

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 22

  23. Arrange it over the black layer on the cake stand:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 23

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 23

  24. Spread a layer of sour cream on top:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 24

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 24

  25. Pierce left part of black cake with a fork the same way you did before with white one:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 25

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 25

  26. Put it on top:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 26

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 26

  27. And again cover with a layer of sour cream:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 27

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 27

  28. Pierce last part of white cake with a fork from both sides and put it on top:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 28

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 28

  29. Cover with layer of sour cream again:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 29

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 29

  30. Using spatula spread sour cream on the sides of the cake. Remove redundant cream from the bottom of the stand with spoon, wipe stand with paper towel if needed:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 30

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 30

  31. Now it is the time to decorate: use crumbles you’ve prepared earlier and spread them evenly on the sides:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 31

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 31

  32. Then use the rest for the top side:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 32

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 32

  33. Put cake to the fridge for several hours, 6-8 hours are good for layers to soak sour cream. After that is ready, slice it up and enjoy:
    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 33

    Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting Recipe: Step 33

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18 Responses to “Simple Cake with Sour Cream Frosting”

  1. Irina says:

    I love this cake! So moist and tasty. We call it “Den’ i noch’” – Night and Day – because of the alternating light and dark layers. My batter recipe is similar except I use sour cream rather than condensed milk. I also use sour cream for the frosting although once I get better at making custard, I am going to try using that. In Russia, my mom and grandma typically used custard-based frosting for this cake except it came from a mix and all you needed to do was add milk (I think) and heat until boiling. For the topping, I typically use grated chocolate and/or chopped walnuts.

  2. Anna says:

    Oh my goodness I am so exited. My grandmother used to make this cake, we too called it “den’ i noch.” She passed away and never gave anyone the recipe and I have been searching for one for so long. thank you so much I am making this cake soon!

  3. Liza says:

    I can say I’m a good cook, but I’ve never been a good baker: I can mess the simplest things up with baking, so typically on New Year I’ve always ordered cake from a Russian bakery. We’re in the US until the summer and I have no access to a Russian bakery, so I decided to try your recipe in order to have a good cake for New Year! It was very, very successful! Even me, a horrible baker, was able to make it! Wonderful recipe! This cake really raised my spirits for New Year and everyone loved it! :)

  4. Francecana says:

    What is the diameter of a baking pan that you use? I have a non-stick silicone form. Do you think it’s all right to use it? Also, do you think lemon juice can substitute vinegar in this recipe?

    • MeCooking says:

      My spring form is 9.5 inches (it is about 24 cm), I think silicone form should work just fine, but I never used such.

      About lemon juice, wiki says it can be a substitute for vinegar in baking, but again I never tried it myself. Amount of vinegar in this recipe isn’t that big, it is used only to activate baking soda, you will not taste it in the cake most probably.

  5. Roman Keselman says:

    My mom and grandma both make a very similar cake. My family is from Ukraine so style of cake is very typical. Personally I love it. Im going to use your recipe and surprise my mom with it. She thinks all I cook is American food so this should set her straight. lol.

  6. abril says:

    but do you make 2 batters or one???

  7. Vilma Rosa Nadal says:

    Julia, reading the recipe again I note two measurements: (1) 0.5 cups flour equals= ? and (2) 0.3 cups sugar
    Would you be so kind to clarify for me in: 1/4. 1/3. 1/2, 3/4 or 1 cup. I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

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